PAUL’S DAILY DOSE OF DISNEY MUSIC #40
Perfect World (The Emperor’s New Groove)
Here’s a ludicrously easy choice. The Emperor’s New Groove features only two songs (plus one reprise) and one of them is the snore-inducing borefest called My Funny Friend And Me (poor Sting wrote and recorded so many songs for this film which never got used - and the one that did is pretty awful), so Perfect World kinda wins by default here.
But even in a fair competition, I think Perfect World would still have a pretty good chance of winning. New Groove had the difficult task of making us invest in a main character who is, from almost any angle, a complete jerkface for the majority of the film. We’re not really supposed to cheer him on or even like him - we just need to enjoy having him around - and this song does a great job of supporting that effort. It’s just so silly and fun!
While the movie doesn’t really focus on it here, it’s pretty interesting to compare songs like Gaston and The World’s Greatest Criminal Mind to this one; when Kuzco’s “theme song guy” describes him as the centre of the universe, is it really any different from Ratigan’s minions or Gaston’s hangers-on glorifying their leader? I mean, Kuzco even has a guy (essentially) executed mid-song for a minor offence, just as Ratigan did! Weird to think about, isn’t it?
Regardless, Perfect World has a bombastic sound (those trumpets and Tom Jones’ vocals are a perfect combination) and so much great visual comedy that it’s impossible not to enjoy yourself. It’s the perfect way to get one of my very favourite Disney films rolling.